He said about Sterling, “it was unfortunate. I mean, for me, like I said, the first thing I ever Googled about the man, the first thing that popped up was ‘racist.’ So I was aware. I hate to say this, and it might sound ignorant, but I wasn’t surprised that all this came up.”
Sometimes being a basketball player not only means a busy lifestyle, but awkward encounters with the boss. Griffin has had too many of those with ex-boss Sterling.
“He would bring people in the locker room while we were just in towels. One year he came in and led a “hip hip hooray” chant and held my arm up in the air. Then he went to another teammate and did the same thing. Guys just started scattering as fast as possible.”
And then again…
“The second time I met him… He throws a white party in Malibu every single year, so everyone has to wear white or you can’t come. I get there, and this dude is wearing all black. The only person at this party. He throws a white party, he wears all black. And as soon as I get there, he comes to the front, we talk for a second, and he’s like, “Come on, I want to introduce you to everyone.” Grabs my hand and starts walking me through the party while we’re holding hands, and just introduces me to everybody.”
Griffin continued to open up about his awkward experiences with his former boss.
“I was hoping to escape down the stairs, find one of my teammates and blend in with the rest of the crowd. I tried to pull my hand away. Nope. Things were about to get weirder,” said Griffin. t
He added, “two blonde models showed up on either side of me. They had clearly been hired for the event. I knew this because they were wearing size XXXX-L Clippers T-shirts tied at the stomach. I looked at Sterling. He had a big dumb grin on his face. I looked at one of the girls, as if to say, ‘Uhhh, you don’t have to do this.’ She looked back: ‘Uhhh, yes I do.’”
Griffin even googled Sterling’s name at some point, and that’s when he learned about all these racial cases against his former boss.
“As players, we’re not supposed to really care about anything but basketball,” he said. “We’re just supposed to perform. To be honest, I didn’t ever really think about bringing up Sterling’s past. What was I supposed to do? Just picture me at the press conference my rookie year. ‘Uh … hey, guys, before we talk about today’s game, did you happen to see that investigative report on my owner?’”
Griffin referred to Sterling as that “weird uncle” type. He concluded with the Player’s Tribune saying that yes it was upsetting to see Sterling walk away with $2 billion for selling the Clippers, but at least he’s gone.
“Someone asked me the other day if I’m mad that he made out with $2 billion for selling the team. Maybe a little bit. But in the end, I’m just happy he’s gone,” he said. “I think about him pulling me around the White Party in Malibu, and a saying comes to mind: “Some people are so poor, all they have is their money.”